Budgeting for large families

by | Nov 22, 2021

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Do you get frustrated reading many of the money-saving tips for families because they’re meant for families with 1 or two kids, and yours is, well, rather large?

Large families don’t always have more money than smaller families. We are, however, encouraged to better plan and work with what we have.

Let’s Talk Budget

Having a large family requires a lot of discipline when it comes to sticking to a budget. Even though few ever enjoy this, you need to sit down and create one. It’s important to know what money is coming in and what is going out. Simply put, your budget should be: Income minus expenses = budget. The basic rule to remember is: spend less than you earn.

After seeing where your money is going, identify weak spots. Adjust your planned spending or consider additional income as necessary. Set new goals on how to bring these points under control.

If you live within your budget, you will be much more likely to:

  • Avoid excessive debt
  • Build emergency and long-term savings
  • Take care of financial priorities such as housing, food, transportation, rather than spend your money disproportionally on entertainment and eating out.
  • Feel in control of your finances
  • Understand your personal spending habits and get rid of wasteful spending
  • Prevent many of the arguments with your spouse with regards to spending and finances

Feeding the Army

 A large family eats a large amount of food. One of my top tips for large families is to plan things out. Plan your meals out so you know how much to spend on groceries. We budget a set amount per person in the family, per week for grocery shopping. Calculate the total as you shop. This not only helps you manage your budget better, but also deters you from adding those unplanned extras to your basket.

And as an additional tip; because us larger families tend to spend a lot on groceries, why not harness that spending to get you more?

  • Buy groceries from a store where you can get rewarded. For example, if you are a FNB-banker, you can get ebucks by shopping at Checkers. Use your Checkers Rewards Card. Pick n Pay has SmartShopper, Woolworths has WRewards, Dischem and Clicks both have reward programs too. Choose the reward program that works best for your family and your needs.
  • Scan receipts for cash! Using platforms like SNAPnSAVE, you can get actual cash back in your pocket when scanning your receipts by nothing more than your normal shopping. (Use Simonev639 when you download the app to get a free R10)

Planning To Save

Your budget will tell you whether you’re currently spending more or less than you earn. If you’re spending more, it might be helpful to sit down as a family and brainstorm where you could be cutting and saving. Discuss the effect it may have on your family life.

Having a large family does not have to be a big financial burden. In fact, if you take your time to plan things out and think about every rand you spend, you could actually be ahead financially.

Guest Editor, Simone Verhoog is mom to four children, wife to an incredible husband, business owner, and parenting blogger. “We love living outside the box! We are continually encouraging our children to try new experiences, gain confidence and independence, and above everything, be kind. If this is your vibe, you’ll also love reading Milestones Magazine. It truly has the best variety of experts to guide you through every stage of your parenting (and pre-parenting!) journey.”